About the Bank of Montreal
Established in 1817, the Bank of Montreal (BMO) is one of Canada's big five banking institutions and the 8th largest bank in North America by assets.
BMO delivers services across personal and commercial banking, investments, and wealth management to over 12 million customers, has 45 offices in 21 countries, and a global workforce of more than 43,000 employees.
For students studying finance and related degrees, the bank offers internships and paid co-op opportunities at its operational headquarters in Toronto, and a select number of office locations across Canada.
These opportunities exist in multiple business divisions, including:
- Personal banking
- Business banking
- Commercial banking
- Finance and Accounting
- Technology and Operations
- Wealth Management
- Capital Markets
There are also a number of graduate programmes available, all of which offer an exciting work environment, ongoing training and support. To stand the best possible chance of securing a graduate role, it's recommended you first complete a student placement, as the majority of graduate hires are selected from these schemes.
Whichever path you intend to take, you'll need to prepare yourself for BMO's competitive, multistage application process.
Bank of Montreal Application Process
For its student placements, BMO runs three recruitment drives in summer, fall and winter.
The application process consists of four stages, and you must be successful in each to progress to the next. To help you prepare, each stage is outlined in detail below.
Once you've found a position of interest, you'll need to complete an online application through BMO's dedicated career portal. This involves filling out an online profile with basic details, uploading your resume and, if still in education, submitting your unofficial transcript.
It's likely you'll also be asked some screening questions at this stage. These are your chance to highlight key strengths, and explain the motivations behind your application.
Note that BMO does permit you to apply for more than one role at a time, but you must complete a separate application for each.
Candidates that stand out in their application will then be invited to complete a series of online assessments.
These test natural aptitude, behavioural styles, and character traits, and are designed to ensure the most suitable candidates move forward in the process.
Numerical Reasoning Test
The numerical reasoning test looks at your ability to work with numerical information in a precise, efficient and logical manner.
You'll be presented with various tables, charts and graphs - each of which will be accompanied by a series of word problems - and you must interpret the data given to form logical conclusions.
All questions are multiple choice, and the test is timed, so you'll need to work at speed whilst maintaining accuracy. Though not a maths test, some questions will require application of basic arithmetic and mathematical concepts such as percentages, ratios and fractions.
Taking plenty of practice tests before your official assessment will help you put in a strong performance.
Situational Judgement Test
To assess how well you're likely to perform in a professional setting, BMO uses a situational judgement test. This gives an indication of your interpersonal skills, and what you consider to be effective workplace behaviour.
Questions come in the form of hypothetical scenarios, much like those you'd expect to come across as an employee of BMO. For each scenario, you'll be given several possible ways to respond, and must select which you see as the most appropriate course of action.
It's important to answer each question honestly, rather than second guessing how you think the employer would want you to react. If you don't answer truthfully, you run the risk of it catching up with you at a later date, since you'll be assessed on these same workplace behaviours throughout the interview.
A personality test serves two functions. First, it gives BMO insight into your character traits and working preferences. The hiring team can then use this detail to compare you against previous candidates that proved successful in their role.
Second, it helps to ensure your personality is well suited to BMO's organisational culture, and that you have the potential to become a valuable team member.
To complete the test, you'll rate yourself against a series of statements, choosing those you feel best reflect your personality. Again, it's important to be honest with your answers, and give the hiring team a true picture of who you are.
Those that pass the online assessments to the required standards will then be invited to a digital interview. This is a one way interview conducted through the HireVue platform.
You'll be asked a series of pre-recorded questions focused on both behavioural and technical skills, and will need to record and upload your answers for assessment. You'll have two attempts for each recording, and the whole process should take between 15 and 30 minutes.
It's wise to start thinking about possible questions and answers before you're even informed of your progression to this stage, as you'll only have 24 to 48 hours from receiving your invite to complete the interview.
Interview with Hiring Manager
The fourth and final stage, should you be successful, is an interview with the hiring manager. Depending on circumstances, this will either be held in-person or via a virtual platform like Skype.
You should prepare to answer questions on your past experience, and highlight examples of key strengths in action. Be sure to support all your examples with measurable results.
This is also your opportunity to ask any questions you may have about the role and BMO in general. Have a handful of these planned out, as asking questions will show the hiring manager that you're truly invested in the opportunity on offer.
Post interview, you'll hear from BMO, either with an offer of employment or with constructive feedback should your application prove unsuccessful.